Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab for Seniors: What’s the Difference?

After a hospital stay for an injury, operation, or illness, a doctor may suggest rehabilitation to ensure your recovery. When it comes to rehab, there are two primary options available: inpatient or outpatient services. We’re here to walk you through the differences (and similarities) between the two types and help you determine which is best for your situation. 

Why Choose Rehab?

Rehabilitation for seniors is care that helps improve your daily living skills after an injury or event. While end goals vary between individuals, the primary purpose of rehab is to help you or your loved one regain independence. From re-learning personal hygiene habits to returning to exercise, the proper rehab treatment will have you feeling like yourself again. Most hospitals offer some rehab during hospitalization but require more intensive therapy after the patient is discharged. This is where either inpatient or outpatient rehab comes into play.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehabilitation usually takes place in a special care section in a senior living community. Residents stay in an assisted living or skilled nursing area that offers specialized services. Therapy treatments are generally more intensive than outpatient options and often occur daily. Unlike outpatient therapy, the individual isn’t expected to complete exercises or regimens on their own or find transportation to the sessions. 

Assisted living rehab patients also get the chance to reap the benefits of a senior living community. Notably, residents at The Davis Community experience a variety of dining options, cleaning services, wellness facilities, and access to social activities. Many people find peace knowing that all their loved one’s needs are met during inpatient rehabilitation. 

Ideal Candidate

If you or your doctor feel you’re not ready to return home after your hospital stay, inpatient rehab may be a good option. Perhaps you need time to regain your abilities, or you don’t have the help you need at home. Choosing an inpatient care facility can help maximize your recovery with convenient therapy and emergency assistance available around the clock. Here are a few common conditions for which doctors suggest inpatient rehabilitation:

  • Fracture or broken hip
  • Joint injury or replacement
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Cancer treatment or recovery

If returning home is unsafe, check your insurance plan to see if inpatient rehab is covered. Requirements vary by the individual, so while inpatient therapy may seem ideal, the cost may change from person to person.

Outpatient Rehab

If someone is eager to return home, outpatient therapy can be a good alternative form of care. With outpatient rehabilitation, the individual is transported to the treatment center for therapy and returns home after each session. The individual is responsible for continuing therapy exercises at their home to maximize progress. Many people find comfort in staying in their homes each night while receiving quality therapy.

Ideal Candidate

Many rehab participants, especially those living alone, struggle to consistently practice therapeutic exercises at home. While the most significant benefit of outpatient therapy is returning home, it’s also essential that one’s living space is safe. You or your loved one should be able to move around without hindrance and know how to reach someone in an emergency. If you feel that outpatient rehab is the best option, consider utilizing a homecare agency for added safety and recovery. 

If you choose outpatient therapy and it becomes difficult to maintain, you can always change your mind! Reach out to a senior living community that offers rehab services. The Davis Community provides exquisite assisted living in Wilmington that can be paired with rehab services. Or, opt for our Rehabilitation and Wellness Pavilion with private rooms, only steps from treatment areas.

Wilmington Assisted Living: Rehab and Beyond

The Davis Community strives to provide the best care for older adults in the Wilmington area. We are here for you, from independent living to assisted living and rehab services. If you or your loved one’s doctor recommends rehab, we invite you to consider The Davis Community for your therapy home. 

Still trying to decide which therapy option is best for you or want to find out more? Schedule a visit today to see how the Davis Community can help you live well and age well. 

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